Monday, August 4, 2008

Why Americans Aren't Dumb

I ran into this article on MSN earlier today and thought I would pass it on. It tries to make the argument that Americans are smarter today than they ever have been, and are getting smarter. If you actually look at hard data, rather than listen to the usual collection of old people, who for thousands of years have liked to think, despite all evidence, that their generation is superior to the younger one, it is a pretty hard conclusion to avoid.

"The average IQ has increased steadily for decades, at a rate of about three points every ten years. The phenomenon's even got a name: the Flynn effect."

"Almost every age group of students has shown increased [math] scores over the last 30 years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Almost twice as many students are taking advanced math as were 20 years ago. In general, we are just better at solving problems. The huge leaps in IQ have come in areas such as pattern recognition."

""Kids today don't know their facts." Evidence conflicts. The government stats say knowledge of history and geography is actually up slightly."

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